How Do You Say Blackface in French?: Translating and Anchoring the Black Experience in the Hexagon

Mame Fatou Niang

This talk, by Mame-Fatou Niang, seeks to define the contours of the Black presence in ‘colorblind’ France, by specifically addressing the language barrier currently keeping key notions outside of French public discourse. From the normalized use of American-English words and concepts, to the reticence to anchor Blackness in the French language, to the lack of recognition of the nation’s ties to slavery and colonialism, France has developed a culture that firmly cultivates the belief that anti-Black sentiments and racism only affect other societies. The untold story of French slavery and colonialism, as well as the powerful race-blind ideology tremendously effects the country’s ability to acknowledge that racial exclusion and oppression are a lived reality for racial minorities. In front of France’s peculiar desire to remain silent about race, this lecture seeks to reinscribe the Afro-French experience into the country’s language and history.

April 10, 6:30pm | Griffin 3

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Williams College French Film Festival 2018: La Grande Guerre: Remembering the First World War

William College French Film Festival 2018

Over 3 consecutive Mondays at 7PM, on February 12, 19 and 26 (2018), the Williams Department of Romance Languages will screen 3 recent French films at Images Cinema:

Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) (2005)

by Christian Carion
Monday, February 12, @ 7PM, Images Cinema

Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) (2004)

by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Monday, February 19, @ 7PM, Images Cinema

Frantz (2016)

by François Ozon
Monday, February 26, @ 7PM, Images Cinema

All films in French with English subtitles
Free admission

* This festival is made possible with the generous support of the Williams College Department of Romance Languages and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. The festival was co-organized by Jane Canova of the Center for Foreign Languages and French Professor Brian Martin who will introduce the films. All films are in French with English subtitles, and are free and open to the public. Images Cinema is located at 50 Spring Street in Williamstown, MA.

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From Tunis to New York City: Samia Ouederni on Tunisian Women Poetry

Samia Ouederni

In this lecture, Tunisian poet Samia Quederni will talk about the rich tradition of Tunisian women poetry and its historical roots in a mosaic of identities and ethnicities that Tunisians share such as: Amazigh (or Berber), Jewish, European (Spanish, French, Italian, Maltese, Greek), and Muslim. In addition to reading selections from her own poetry, she will also reflect on questions of translations, cross-cultural peregrination and her personal journey from Tunis to New York City.

Thursday, November 30 @6:30pm | Sawyer Library, Mabie Room

* Sponsored by Arabic Studies, Comparative Literature, French, Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

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Russian Orientalism: Russo-Japanese War and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Opera The Golden Cockerel

Russia's Orient in Rimsky-Korsakov's Opera 'Golden Cockerel'

How did Russian policies in East Asia and events of the early-twentieth-century Russia influence Rimsky-Korsakov’s representation of the Orient? Adalyat Issiyeva is a Lecturer and Research Assistant at McGill University (Canada): her talk will address how Russian policies in East Asia and events of the early-twentieth-century Russia influenced Rimsky-Korsakov’s representation of the Orient. After its disastrous war with Japan that brought Russia to the 1905 Revolution, many Russian intellectuals questioned the legitimacy of this war and expressed their disagreement over the official policies in the East. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Golden Cockerel also problematizes Russia’s official vision of the East as the Yellow Peril and simultaneously warns that an oversimplification of an unknown, sophisticated, and luring Orient, impersonated in the Queen of Shemakha and the Astrologer, can bring the downfall of the empire.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 @6:00 PM | Schapiro 129

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian, the Department of Music, the Program in Global Studies, and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

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International Education Week (November 13-17, 2017)

IEW Logo

International Education Week (IEW), November 13-17, is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Come and celebrate international education at Williams!

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CFLLC Language Tables Extravaganza (Nov. 15)


TALK TO US. Join any of the language tables Wednesday, November 15, 6 – 7:30 PM at Mission Park dining for conversation in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili. Learn about our languages, our cultures and our countries, and socialize with us at dinner.

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Chronicles of Calais Jungle, an introduction to the European refugee crisis and the role of citizen solidarity

Yasmin Bouagga

What is the refugee crisis in Europe? Yasmine Bouagga, socio-anthropologist, entered Calais Jungle with the cartoonist Lisa Mandel, and investigated how an informal refugee camp developed on the European territory, at the border between France and UK: discovering who are these refugees, who are the volunteers helping them and why the French government did not develop facilities to avoid the humanitarian crisis. The chronicles untangle the multiple aspects of what became a landmark event in the history of Europe.

Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm | Griffin Hall, 3

* Sponsored by Arabic Studies, Global Studies, and Political Science.

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Venezuela: Getting Closer to Hell

Leonardo Vivas

Join us Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 for a talk on the escalating political crisis in Venezuela, by Dr. Leonardo Vivas of Northeastern University.

Once one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, declining oil prices have had a devastating impact on Venezuela’s economy and significantly hampered the socialist government’s ability to reduce inequality and poverty through housing initiatives and other social programs.  Lacking access to food, medicine, and other essential goods, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets since 2014 to call for elections and the restoration of Venezuela’s constitutional democracy. As clashes between protesters and pro-government groups grow increasingly violent, President Nicolás Maduro, who retains a significant base of support despite the cataclysmic economic situation, has moved to marginalize, silence and divide the opposition.

Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 PM | Griffin 7

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Las negritas y las islitas: Autonomy in times of tragedy and trauma

Bell Ferrer

The Spanish Department invites you to a conversation with Dorothy Bell-Ferrer, an Afroantillana (Boricua and Dominicana) activist, activist, and student. Dorothy is a master student at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico currently studying literature in the Hispanic Studies department in the College of Humanities.

She has worked directly with Latino communities, both in Puerto Rico and in the US as a community organizer for National Boricua Human Rights Network in Cleveland, and have written about race, Latino identities, feminism, and anti-racism.

Tuesday, October 24. 4:15pm to 5:30pm | Hollander 241

* Sponsored by Romance Languages and Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures & Cultures

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‘Die neue Frau on April Fools’: Photography, Photomontage, and the Rhetoric of Objectivity in the Weimar Illustrierten

Die neue Frau on April Fools

Each April 1st in Weimar Germany, the popular glossy German tabloids known as Illustrierte published a series of mischievous April fool jokes. In this annual game of discerning the real news from the fake, prominent magazines tricked readers unable or unwilling to exercise their critical faculties by interspersing manipulated photographs amid the familiar array of advertisements, serialized novels, puzzles, and articles of the Illustrierten. Often critiqued as manipulating their naïve readers, the magazines’ use of fake photographs and the mixed message of their satirical sight gags astutely comment on the notion that “the camera does not lie.” Their interweaving with serious photojournalism pieces complicates the arguments of critics that the Illustrierten were exclusively naïve purveyors of distraction. Far from being trivial, April fool jokes reflect and refract the obsessions of Weimar popular culture with such modern themes as the proliferation of mass entertainment, changes in gender identity, and the emergence of the media figure of the New Woman.

November 9 at 4:15 PM | 241 Hollander Hall

* Sponsored by Department of German and Russian, History, and Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures & Cultures

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